darlington marketing

Cyndi Darlington

President and Founder

Cyndi and her team have more than 20 years experience in sales & marketing with particular expertise in branding, communications & media.

DMC’s current clients include both independent restaurants and multi-unit chains in the fast casual, casual dining, fine dining and bar/nightclub categories, as well as retailers within the service industry. DMC specializes in restaurant marketing, with particular expertise in guiding companies through the process of rebranding or franchising.

Cyndi founded Darlington Marketing in 2010 to help both restaurant and hospitality industry companies develop marketing foundations for future growth. In addition to providing strategic plans for these companies, Cyndi and her team act as an “in-house” Marketing Department to ensure implementation and measurement of these programs.

Cyndi received her undergraduate degree in journalism at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, worked at a public relations agency in New York, and spent nearly 10 years at Amtrak as Assistant Vice-President of Sales and Marketing. Cyndi was instrumental in the introduction and marketing of the new rail service throughout the country and developed a strong background in the hospitality field implementing wine and food service on many routes.  She served on the Board of Directors for the California Travel Industry Association and was appointed by Governor Davis to the California Tourism and Travel Commission’s Marketing Committee.

Cyndi soon followed her lifelong passion for the restaurant industry and joined Islands Restaurants.  As Islands’ first-ever Marketing Director, she was able to launch a website, implement online ordering, develop new branding materials for the company and institute a turnkey local store marketing program for all 60 units.

From Islands, Cyndi was recruited to Catalina Restaurant Group, a Japanese-owned family dining company with more than 200 units. At CRG, Cyndi managed all media and marketing, including creation of interactive marketing programs and social media strategy. She also oversaw the franchise co-op and developed all franchise marketing programs.

She left to start her own marketing company after working with agencies and consultants over the years and deciding that she could bring something new to the table in order to help small to mid-sized restaurants and retailers.​

Cyndi received her MBA from the University of San Francisco, which helped to strengthen her strategic perspective and  sharpen her expertise in implementing successful programs for companies of all sizes. She is a resident marketing expert on FOX News and for many online and traditional publications and an Adjunct Professor of Business at Mira Costa Community College.

​Cyndi lives in Encinitas with her husband and two children.  In her free time she enjoys – what else? – trying new restaurants, being at the beach, volunteering her time for SCORE and other small business incubators as well as the Alzheimer’s Association, and watching and writing about NFL football. A lifelong traveler, Cyndi has just Antarctica left to fulfill her dream of visiting all seven continents. A Colts Super Bowl win watched in person sitting next to her son, faces painted,  would check the last box on her bucket list.

  • Director of Marketing & Client Relations

    Cara Sprague is a marketing veteran bringing 15 years of experience on both the agency and client side of the hospitality, real estate …

  • Marketing Manager

    Danielle joined Darlington Marketing in 2013 and serves as Marketing Manager. Danielle provides vital support and contributes a fresh and unique perspective based …


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